health

Brits urged to get Covid vaccine despite more countries suspending AstraZeneca/Oxford jab


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eople across the UK have been urged to get their coronavirus vaccine, despite a growing list of countries temporarily suspending use of the AstraZeneca jab amid concern around blood clots.

The vaccine’s manufacturer has insisted it is safe, saying a review of available data in more than 17 million people who have been vaccinated across the UK and EU has shown no evidence of an increased risk.

Dr Phil Bryan, vaccines safety lead at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said people “should still go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

Northern Ireland’s department of health said the rollout there will continue, “in line with MHRA guidance”.

The Republic’s health minister Stephen Donnelly said use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was being temporarily suspended “based on new information from Norway”.

The decision followed reports of serious clotting in adults in Norway which left four people in hospital.

The Netherlands also said on Sunday that it was suspending use of the vaccinations as a precaution for two weeks.

But the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and that jabs can keep being administered while it carries out a review into any incidents of blood clots – noting last week that there had only been 30 cases reported among almost five million people jabbed in the European Economic Area.

The number of cases of blood clots reported is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population, AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer Ann Taylor said.

The pharmaceutical giant said its review had found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country.



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